Open Laboratories

The idea of open laboratories at higher education institutions is to make science and research more accessible and provide spaces for experimentation. Using different strategies such as public events, online platforms, and free work spaces, these labs aim to connect researchers, students, and the public, and to foster communication and common projects. Examples in ERUA are:

University of Konstanz


The “GameLab University of Konstanz” is a space that provides students as well as researchers with the necessary infrastructure to explore the role of computer games for research and teaching. In a variety of lectures and seminars, an interdisciplinary team of associated researchers gives students and colleagues a better understanding of the subject. In this context, students can develop their own games, e.g. as a dissertation project, and teaching staff can learn how to use digital games for teaching. In the future, it aims at connecting academia and external members of the gaming industry to foster a network of knowledge transfer and an even more practical approach. 

Forum Konstanz – planned

Forum Konstanz will be an infrastructural manifestation of the UKon Vision about interacting with the society through the transfer of knowledge and technology as well as developing a creative culture. As an open-access physical building in the middle of the campus, Forum Konstanz is meant to be a gate to the university. Here researchers, non-academic employees, students, and citizens can meet each other, discuss ideas and actualize them.

Inside the building researchers and students will be able to interact with citizens through science communication, exhibitions, and other events. It is also possible for people who want to make a startup business to come and develop their innovative ideas here.

Architecture students from the University of Applied Sciences (HTWG) have designed different suggestions for the appearance of the Forum. In 2021 a competition will be held in order to carry out the whole project in the following years.

Insights into what the forum might look like

Roskilde University

FabLabhere is a link to the homepage of the laboratory
FabLab RUC is an open fablab, rapid prototyping laboratory and digital production workshop. Fablab RUC is commercial-friendly, an experiment in a new private-public model. FabLab actively works with inviting private companies, startups, inventors, and non-university public sector endeavors into the university and the maker movement. FabLab RUC is an experimental research and learning environment, where cutting-edge tools for rapid prototyping are available to everyone (students, researchers, professionals, general public).  
One initiative within the FabLab is the Open Entrepreneurship Lab. Here innovation and creativity are supported by mentoring from professionals. The FabLab also facilitates workshops. For example, there was a workshop on citizen science in 2019 where was used as a case on how to engage citizens in the collection of data. Another opportunity provided by FabLab is the ‘Facial Expression Recognition’ system where basic emotions like fear, anger, surprise, happiness, disgust, and sadness can be recognized by the software. SSH students might not know the technology behind a system like this, but the first hand experience might complement ethical and political discussions about application of facial recognition in public.
The laboratory has 3D printers, laser cutters, a greenhouse, a vacuum former, and many other machines.

Open Media Lab 
The primary activity of the open media lab is the development of Thirdroom, an experiment between the Department of Humans and Technology at Roskilde University and the not-for-profit organisation Collaboratorium. Thirdroom is a platform created in collaboration with the students at Roskilde University and designed to enhance a digital collaborative learning culture. Thirdroom aims to create a contemplative, respectful place, where living knowledge networks and projects can grow and inspire meaningful connections and innovations. On its own Thirdroom is to be considered as a collaboratory initiative, and therefore it is described further in the appendix about collaboratories.

Experience Labclick here to read more about it
Experience Lab at RUC is an experimental laboratory for research on intelligent technologies, immersive experience and complex knowledge forms. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Communication Studies, Computer Science, Business and Performance Design collaborate to develop empathic insight into human experience, to contribute human-centred approaches to design and innovation, and to promote ethical responsibility to and care for people, nature and the designed worlds that we leave as a legacy for future generations. 
These are some of the projects regarding education made possible by the Experience Lab:

  • Computer Science/Informatics Masters course on ”Designing Interactive Experiences”
  • Student projects (bachelor and masters) developing Experience cylinder applications, in games, scientific simulation, 3D worlds
  • HumTekworkshops on creative sound, physical interaction
  • Performance design workshops
  • Computer science workshops
  • 3D RUC student project.

Digital media labread more about the Laboratory here

Digital Media Lab at RUC is a digital and physical laboratory that offers faculty, students and staff inspiration, help and consultation on research involving digital data and digital methods. Its mission is to provide recommendations and access to data sources, tools and methods for handling digital data, as well as develop new tools and methods for understanding and analyzing vast and exponentially increasing amounts of data available in our increasingly mediated lives and society.

The three study programmes journalism, communication studies and Strategic Communication and Digital Medias are benefitting from this lab. The Lab has a toolbox with introductions to digital services that can help students gather, analyze and visualize digital data. One example is the DMI-TCAT that can be set up to gather information about certain twitter users or content. 10-12 scholars from the three study programmes are connected to the lab. 

New Bulgarian University

Laboratory for digital innovations
The laboratory functions as a consulting unit offering expertise and services in support of the digital transformation of the industry in Bulgaria and the region. Special attention will be paid to the accumulation and development of capacity and competence in information management and protection, analysis of business processes and their cybernetics, design, development and updating of information systems, as well as in project management and processes in software production.
The team of the laboratory aims to support, consult and promote the digital transformation in Bulgarian schools, working to disseminate and introduce in the classroom innovative educational practices based on technological solutions. New training content for the needs of the industry will be created in the laboratory. Successful topics and forms of study will be considered as a basis for the development of new programs in the depot. “Informatics”, successful lecturers – as additions to the full-time and part-time teaching staff.

Center for visual anthropology
The activity of the Center is also aimed at building a visual archive of modernity. The center is an innovative place of communication and interaction between teachers, researchers, students and stakeholders (schools, museums, institutions in the field of culture and creative industries, business representatives, etc.). Thus, the Center contributes to the development of interdepartmental cooperation and interdisciplinary research and training at NBU, as well as to the expansion of contacts and the role of NBU in Bulgarian society.

APPLE Laboratory – read more
The main goal of the Laboratory is to offer NBU students training in high-tech mac computers, which are invariably associated with their practical training in the field of graphic design, photography, music and film editing. Here they can implement their own projects in the above areas. The material base is at a high level and is updated in a timely manner. The activity of the Laboratory is directly related to the support of the educational process of the bachelor’s programs “Graphic Design”, “Information Technology”, “Informatics”, “Cinema and Television” and “Music” at NBU. Extracurricular courses are conducted (individual and term papers); conditions for realization of course projects are provided. Students from the clubs at the Student Council at NBU can use the resources of the Laboratory for the implementation of projects and creative ideas.

Animated cinema laboratory/ Cartoon laboratory
The activity of the laboratory is directly related to the support of the educational process of the bachelor’s program “Visual Arts”, module “Animation Cinema” and the master’s program “Animation Directing” at NBU. Extracurricular courses are held here (individual and term papers); consultations are held on classroom courses; conditions are provided for the realization of the diploma projects (animated films) of the graduating students.

Laboratory of photography
The activity of the Laboratory of Photography is inextricably linked with the existence and development of the bachelor’s program “Photography” at NBU. It is directly related to the educational activity of the students from NBU and in particular to the offered courses, to the elaboration of the independent works and the course projects to these courses, as well as to the diploma works of the graduating students. Classroom and extracurricular classes are held in the Laboratory. The products are presented at various solo exhibitions, national and international projects, competitions, plein airs, seminars, workshops and more. Some of the activities are related to the filming of intra-university events. The laboratory performs external orders, organizes photo contests and photo exhibitions.

Graphic design laboratoryread more about the laboratory here
The laboratory actively cooperates with all departments, developing their graphic expression as:

  • creates creatively and technically all the necessary graphic materials, such as: invitations, posters, cultural posters, visions for social networks, etc. for the correct positioning of NBU in the minds of students and external audiences;
  • conduct student internships under the guidance of lecturers from the program;
  • organizes practical classes and open lessons;
    gives the opportunity for realization of the extracurricular educational forms of the students in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.

“Graphic Design Laboratory”:

  • develops and provides services and / or finished products to university structures;
  • creates an environment and supports interdisciplinary academic research on certain innovation projects in the field of visual arts.

University of Paris 8

Centre numérique d’innovation sociale (Digital Center for Social Innovation)
CNIS mobilizes local community (socio-economic, associative, institutional and academic) and international actors on specifics social issues/challenges (sustainable and inclusive territory development, digital mutations of the working world, social and solidarity economy, changes in urban cultures and preservation of intangible heritage) to experiment by sharing resources, skills and knowledge. The experiments carried out are evaluated with and by the actors concerned according to the principles of social innovation.

ArTeC – read more about it here 
ArTeC is a graduate school program of excellence for research and training specialized in digital arts & humanities. Artec develops many co-creation activities with actors outside the academic world. Therefore, ArTeC promotes and articulates research projects in the fields of the arts, technology, digital technology, human mediation and creation. The projects articulate in an original and inventive way the methodologies of research-creation, research-action, research-development, in a perspective of inclusive and shared excellence.

Savante Banlieue takes place during the four days of the Fête de la science which takes place each October in France. Savante Banlieue aims to promote the research of laboratories present in the Seine Saint-Denis area and to introduce their activities to a large public and in particular to students and teachers of secondary schools and training centers. Savante Banlieue is divided into a vast program of large thematic conferences, mini-conferences, stands dedicated to schoolchildren with activities, shows and exhibitions.

University of the Aegean

The Initiative [Aegean FutureLabs]
The Aegean FutureLabs are under development/ construction in the 6 insular UAegean campuses, and they are planned to be available before the end of 2023. The Aegean FutureLabs as open to society laboratories are active learning and innovative teaching in flexible learning spaces. They will contribute to the professional development of professors, teachers, researchers, students, in the fields of technology, innovative pedagogy, interdisciplinary learning scenarios in flexible learning environments, and support studies carried out at national and international level. The Aegean FutureLabs will be connected with the society, bringing emerging technologies in contact with private and public actors, applying good practices, co-creating pilot actions and applications, which will inspire a new culture of thinking and working in their organizations. Co-Funding schemes will support pilot innovative experiments in social innovation and entrepreneurship. The first call announcement is planned in the beginning of 2023. The initiative is supported by the national funding programme “Supporting Regional Excellence” and it will be connected with Science-Shops (ERUA-WP5).
At this phase the Aegean FutureLabs are under construction (as physical spaces- procurement procedures for equipment).
The model: through six learning zones, visitors can explore the essential elements in delivering learning: students’ and teachers’ skills and roles, learning styles, learning environment design, current and emerging technology, and societal trends affecting education.

The OpenLab Syros – read more
It is supported by the Municipality of Syros- the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering of the University of the Aegean, the Chamber of Cyclades, and the educational community of the island. OpenLab Syros activities include: education according to local needs to students and citizens of the island and training professionals in the use of new technologies and innovative approaches in their workplace. Indicative training subjects include: modern programming languages, robotics, IoT, technologies and web services. In addition, OpenLab Syros provides services for the production and testing of original ideas to citizens and communities of special interest using, after consultation and supervision of the equipment and laboratory premises. The prototypes that will be designed and developed will mainly concern objects related to the needs of the local community, such as “smart” services for citizens, promotion and promotion of the history and cultural heritage of the island, experience tourism, etc.